7 Things You Should Know Before Undergoing Female Fertility Test

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7 Things You Should Know Before Undergoing Female Fertility Test

The blessing of a newborn baby is life's happiest moment. Yet, many couples struggle to cherish this phase due to rising infertility issues. As trivial it may sound, infertility is affecting more than 27 million people in India every year. The reasons behind fertility in both men and women include, stress and anxiety, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy habits, obesity, and lack of physical activity among others. 

The good news is that women have a good 78% chance of attaining motherhood up to the age of 37 years without any medical assistance. In this article, let’s take a deep dive into female fertility tests, their procedure, costs involved, and insurance coverage options. 

What is the Fertility Test for Women?

Fertility test for a woman is a kind of diagnosis that helps in detecting whether or not a woman is suffering from infertility, i.e. inability to conceive a child. This test helps in identifying the root causes of infertility in a female, so as to initiate treatment and achieve successful pregnancy. 

When is the Right Time to Conduct a Fertility Test for a Female?

If a woman has been regularly trying to conceive through unprotected intercourse with her partner for more than one year with no success, she should consider fertility testing. However, if the woman is aged 35 or above, she should undergo the fertility test after 6 months of trying to conceive. 

It is important to note that fertility tests are  equally necessary for both male and female partners, as the root cause of infertility can be in either or both of them. 

What is the Fertility Rate of Women in India?

The recent report of the United Nations reveals that the fertility rate in India for the year 2023 is 2.139 births per woman. This is a 0.93% decline from the previous year. The fertility rate for India for the year 2022 was 2.159 births per woman, which was again a 0.92% fall from 2021. 

Why is the Fertility Rate of Females Decreasing in India?

There are several key factors responsible for the gradual decline of female fertility rate:

Late Marriage: One of the biggest reasons for infertility in women is marrying later than the ideal age bracket. A woman’s peak reproductive age is late-teens and early 20s. By the mid-30s, the quality and quantity of a woman's ova (eggs) begin to decline. Besides, the follicles begin to lose speedily, which results in fewer and poorer quality of eggs. All these conditions make conception quite difficult. Moreover, even if conception occurs at a later age, there is an increased risk of miscarriage. 

Unhealthy Lifestyles: Lifestyle habits have a major role to play in fertility. Unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive drinking lead to loss of fertility in both males and females. 

Unfavorable BMI: A healthy body mass index (BMI) is a prerequisite to increase the frequency of ovulation and likelihood of pregnancy. Women who are overweight or notably underweight are at a greater risk of infertility.  

Social Causes: Additionally, there are some social factors responsible for decrease in female fertility rate. No doubt, higher education has inculcated more awareness for family planning among the masses.  Nevertheless, the emphasis on having a single or no child, and increased use of contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, have altogether led to significant fall in female fertility rates. 

7 Things Doctor Evaluates Before Fertility Test in Females

Here are the seven key aspects that a gynecologist evaluates before conducting a fertility test for woman:

1. Details about Food and Lifestyle Habits:

Dietary and lifestyle habits are major factors affecting female fertility. A doctor will ask whether or not the patient indulges in smoking or heavy drinking, as these two habits adversely affect fertility.

  • Smoking: Tobacco and nicotine smoke release carbon monoxide that deprives the fetus of oxygen. Besides, it damages the cervix and fallopian tubes, thereby increasing the risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.
  • Alcohol: Among women, heavy drinking can result in imbalance in ovulation, cycle regulation and ovarian reserve (ability to produce fertile eggs). Further, it blocks successful implantation in the uterus, which leads to an early loss of the pregnancy or fetal resorption. This may happen even before a woman comes to know that she is pregnant. 
  • Other food habits:  Additionally, the doctors also try to ascertain the level of your intake of caffeine and some vital nutrients. 

2. Sexual Habits

Sexual habits of the male and female partners decide the likelihood of pregnancy. Hence, the doctor inquires about how often you had the intercourse, besides if there’s any history of sexual disorders or diseases. Moreover, you need to tell whether you had intercourse outside your relationship.

3. Medical History

The doctor will essentially ask you about your medical history. Having unprotected intercourse with multiple partners can increase the risk of sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, which can damage the fallopian tubes. This may result in fertility problems later.

4. Gynecologic History

Next, the doctor evaluates the gynecologic history. Accordingly, you need to tell the following details: 

  • Whether or not you have been pregnant before and the result of those pregnancies.
  • Frequency of periods in the previous year.
  • If there have been irregular periods or bleeding between periods
  • Variations in blood flow or if there have been large blood clots
  • Contraceptive means used in the past.

5. Blood Tests

Soon after the evaluation of medical and gynecologic histories, the doctor proceeds with a physical examination, which includes a blood test for fertility in females, to check the levels of estrogens, thyroxine hormones, prolactin, and male hormones (androgens). Tests are also done to check the signs of HIV and hepatitis. 

6. Semen Examination

Since the fertility can be affected  by both male and female partners, semen examination is also done to check the quantity and quality of sperm.  

7. Other Important tests

Furthermore, the doctor prescribes some other crucial tests before the fertility test for women. This includes: 

  • BBT charting: The doctor will recommend you to observe and note down your basal body temperature, on the basis of which ovulation can be checked.
  • Sonogram: importantly, the doctor will conduct the Ultrasound Imaging of the pelvic area of the woman to detect any issues that might impact female fertility.
  • Ovarian Reserve Test: This test reveals the amount of potential number of fertile eggs in a woman’s ovaries. 
  • Laparoscopy: In this test, the surgeon inserts a laser camera and minute surgical instruments into the woman’s abdominal cavity to detect and treat endometriosis, and to remove uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts or any scar tissue.
  • HSG: Hysterosalpingogram or HSG imaging is done to diagnose fallopian tube blockages. A series of X-ray images of the fallopian tubes is taken by injecting liquid dye through the uterus.

Also Read: Know the Risks of Hypertension in Pregnant Women

How much does a female fertility test cost?

In India, the female fertility test cost usually ranges from Rs. 800 to 4,000. The Complete Fertility Panel Advance test for females will cost around INR 2,500 to 4,000. This is a simple test that requires no fasting. Usually, you can get your reports the same day.

What if the fertility test comes negative

In case, the fertility test for the female comes negative, it means the woman suffers from infertility. To treat this condition, she may need to undergo a course of medications or an IVF treatment. 

While the IVF treatment cost is expensive and straining, you can lower the burden with ‘Care Classic — The Zone-based Health Insurance Plan’ by Care Insurance. The policy offers IVF treatment costs up to INR 2 lakhs per policy year for a block of every 3 years. The benefit is available for sum insured options above INR 5 lakhs. The policy aims to help couples avail of the high-priced IVF treatment when faced by infertility issues.

Celebrate the Moment of Motherhood with Care Health Insurance

Well, nothing can be as beautiful as the feeling of becoming a mother!  However, it is a wise idea to plan your maternity expenses in advance and buy a comprehensive maternity insurance plan such as the Care Joy Tomorrow Plan covering the following features:

  • This plan has a waiting period of 3 years.
  • In case you raise no claim during the tenure of 3 years, you can get a bonus of 100% of the sum insured. However, an additional premium will be charged for this benefit.
  • Besides, you can get coverage of the medical expenses of the newborn till the completion of 90 days of his/her birth.

For further details you must refer to the official brochure of the Joy Maternity plan and prospectus on the Care Health Insurance portal for details regarding the policy coverage. Claim settlement is subject to the policy terms & conditions and the underwriter's discretion.

Disclaimer: It is important to verify the policy details and coverage with the official policy documents. Also, kindly consult a professional medical expert to verify the details of health concerns.

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